Staying Postive

A positive outlook can take many forms.

I’m very glad that someone from the “Pittsburgh Today Live” team appears in our feature on the city’s best smiles.

Aside from the fact that Heather Abraham does possess an undeniably winning smile, I’m glad she’s there because I can personally confirm that her sunny disposition is genuine. As I’ve spent more time around — or, on a large video wall behind — the “PTL” team over the past year, I’ve noticed that the boundless enthusiasm they exhibit is the real deal. Abraham, David Highfield, Mikey Hood, Celina Pompeani and Ron Smiley are just as positive and enthusiastic about Pittsburgh off camera as they are every morning on your screen.

A positive outlook can take many forms. It can certainly be as simple as a beaming smile, yes, but it can also be as profound as a life dedicated to serving the community. Gisele Fetterman, the subject of an excellent profile by Cristina Rouvalis in this issue, never seems to stop giving of her time and efforts; an exhaustive list of her charitable and service endeavors would be, well, exhausting. Yet she seems to remain relentlessly positive and upbeat in her pursuit of a more equitable, welcoming community.

The challenges facing places such as Braddock — still-struggling areas where industry left a town to wilt — are significant. But, while it can be easy to become hopeless in the face of big problems, Fetterman just keeps working, one act of service at a time.

And, setting my occasionally grumpy exterior aside, I’m feeling positive, too. It’s no coincidence that I included two bits of Kennywood-related content into this issue (my column and our regular “On Location” feature). A pair of trips to the park were the most normal, joyful outings I’ve had in almost 18 months — a return to an iconic part of Pittsburgh that looked, and felt, like it always did before.

Call it the unintentional, but very welcome, theme of this issue: You can always find reasons to stay positive.

Sean can be reached at

Categories: Editor